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rikke
10-23-2005, 04:59 PM
Aaargh! contracts!

I'm doing some medical visualisations of various internal organs and my client also wants the 3d models and the complete rights to use them in any way he wants. I know there's a big market for these models, so I'm not sure what to do. Is this a common method, has anyone experience with this? Should I increase my price? What would be a right price for, let's say, a detailed human heart?

danb
10-23-2005, 05:45 PM
Well if you've been paid already for your services i would say to keep your models and sell them yourself.

Otherwise tell him you are uncomfortable with just giving your models to him/her and would like to keep your good relationship with him/her and want to come to a comprimise.

I think pricing of your heart would depend on the quality. If you could post some pics then we could give a better price.

Katachi
10-23-2005, 06:02 PM
Depends also on what he wants to use them for and for how long. If he wants rights forever and for everything, simply sell the rights to them. Not sure how your relationship is and how big a company they are but 3-5K per model is more than ok. (I guess some will even say thatīs a minimum :) )

alanmac
10-23-2005, 06:06 PM
I think what can be a rather touchy subject has been covered before, so you may try doing a search. I think it has to depend on the terms you took the contract on originally.

Have you anything in writing or on email that you can refer to or was it a verbal agreement?

I'd try and avoid any decision or contact with the client regarding this issue till you've got further advice.

Alan

moka.studio
10-23-2005, 07:23 PM
Unless specified in a contract the rights to the images AND especially to the models remain with the artist.
If you did not specify that you would give the model, then you should set a fee for them, why should you give them away?
And this should be much steeper if you client wants you to forfeit all right sto te models thereafter.
Har to say how much, as I do not know how much medical models command, do a search as above suggested.
Stick to your guns though!

JoelOtron
10-23-2005, 08:31 PM
I've had to deal with the same issues with pharma/medical clients, and even some multimedia clients. If you signed a contract, you may be obligated to hand over all source files. If you have not signed a contract, then its up to you to decide whther you should or should not hand over source files. It may mean not working for the client again, especially if its a 3rd party working for another client that has an agreement with your client to recieve all source files. If you dont turn over files, this could put your client in a sticky situation.

Its an interesting discussion to have here--I've had this dilemma before myself. I usally just go with it (depending on the situation of course) if its a good client providing me with lots of ongoing work. Most cases--they will never even open the files and know what to do with them--its more of a legal protocol for them.

JoelOtron
10-23-2005, 08:37 PM
What would be a right price for, let's say, a detailed human heart?

Zygote sells theres for $1200--its very good.

http://3dscience.com/item.asp?PID=154

acmepixel
10-23-2005, 08:50 PM
Aaargh! contracts!

I'm doing some medical visualisations of various internal organs and my client also wants the 3d models and the complete rights to use them in any way he wants. I know there's a big market for these models, so I'm not sure what to do. Is this a common method, has anyone experience with this? Should I increase my price? What would be a right price for, let's say, a detailed human heart?

You should be contracting for the specific images/animations which are 2d images. any sketches, preliminary work, scene files and 3d models are your property and never part of the contract. These things can be negotiated with a separate contract but, for instance, the heart model should go for $15,000.00 or more. They must pay you for all the potential work down the line that you will not be able to get paid for if you sell your proprietary model. If it means losing this client, well, it's just nothing more than a "Work for Hire" contract anyway. and such evil contracts should be fought against with every fiber of your being.

Seriously. :sad:

Another work-around is to give them a nearly useless version of the model, reduced dramatically.

Take a look at professional modeling sites like Zygote and see the kind of prices they are charging. Modeling is a completely separate business.

Never sign a "work for hire" contract unless you are a full-time, employee with full salary and benefits.

It is very important that every artist, designer, animator and freelancer read and become familiar with "The Graphic Artist Pricing and Ethical Guidelines". It is the Bible of the industry and is updated every year.

moka.studio
10-23-2005, 09:04 PM
Zygote sells theres for $1200--its very good.

http://3dscience.com/item.asp?PID=154

Yes but they are not handing over the rights to the model when selling, THAT is a big difference! They can sell the model over and over again.

moka.studio
10-23-2005, 09:06 PM
You should be contracting for the specific images/animations which are 2d images. any sketches, preliminary work, scene files and 3d models are your property and never part of the contract. These things can be negotiated with a separate contract but, for instance, the heart model should go for $15,000.00 or more. They must pay you for all the potential work down the line that you will not be able to get paid for if you sell your proprietary model. If it means losing this client, well, it's just nothing more than a "Work for Hire" contract anyway. and such evil contracts should be fought against with every fiber of your being.

Seriously. :sad:

Another work-around is to give them a nearly useless version of the model, reduced dramatically.

Take a look at professional modeling sites like Zygote and see the kind of prices they are charging. Modeling is a completely separate business.

Never sign a "work for hire" contract unless you are a full-time, employee with full salary and benefits.

It is very important that every artist, designer, animator and freelancer read and become familiar with "The Graphic Artist Pricing and Ethical Guidelines". It is the Bible of the industry and is updated every year.



I agree 100%.

JoelOtron
10-23-2005, 09:08 PM
Yes but they are not handing over the rights to the model when selling, THAT is a big difference! They can sell the model over and over again.

True--we purchased several zygote model packages and we are actually licensing their property not owning it. So--yes--do what works for you. In the end--its never black and white as much as we'd like it to be--at least my self and those I know in the field have this experience. Some are able to be more demanding with all of their clients--but its not always possible.

Primitiv
10-24-2005, 12:13 AM
This goes under a specific law called "Work for Hire". If you were contracted under that specification in a contract then all source files would be your client's property. But since it does not seem to be the case then your client is not entitled to any right or property that the final images. More than that, he cannot use them for any other purposes than what he paid for and contracted with you.

Having a signed contract with your client before doing any work is a must and avoids these type of misunderstandings. Do not give your clients any right or property that he has not paid for.

vid2k2
10-24-2005, 12:16 AM
It's been my experience that a client buys the "image" for reproduction rights
for a specific venue/purpose. Photographers have established this difference long ago.
Illustrators came on board shortly thereafter. I'm almost positive that turning
over the actual mesh was never discussed when you accepted the project. If so,
it should not be a factor now. If they want the model, as per the comments already
given, that's a seperate sale. Prior to selling them the rights, you may want to see what
they intend to do with it first. Does someone at the client's office have C4D? Or, does
someone have another 3D app that they can use to open up the file? If the answer is "no",
I think that they just got a bug from someone that made them make the request ... or,
is it a mandate?

It's unfortunate, but you must learn to ask and define these kind of points in a written
quotation that you give to them and that they should sign and return with a formal
purchase order.

Hope it works out for you.

JoelOtron
10-24-2005, 12:56 AM
Another issue--one thats probably not related to Rikkes's situation, but I've experienced myself, is when you are working freelance for an animation studio (offsite OR onsite).

In cases where you are setting up (building models ) and animating scenes that will be integrated with other shots for a larger animation (or even if its a standalone animation) you will of course be expected to turn over source files. This is a precaution for the studio in case the client comes back a year later and needs a revision of some sort and you are unavailable to make the change. This would put the studio in a bad situation as well as they would be forced to recreate the animation most likely at cost to the studio. Of course you can negotiate up front NOT to supply files or supplying them at extra charge--but you probably wont work for them again. The client isnt always the evil monster.

Triker
10-24-2005, 02:16 AM
The only reason he wants the models is to reduce his expenses at your expense, or make money at your expense. Either way it cost you.

The biggest danger in giving away, or selling models is that the buyer may sell the art work created from the models for profit, or sell the models themselves for profit.

If that happens you deserve compensation in the form of commission or royalties. So have it in writing.

JoelOtron
10-24-2005, 02:24 AM
The only reason he wants the models is to reduce his expenses at your expense, or make money at your expense. Either way it cost you.

The biggest danger in giving away, or selling models is that the buyer may sell the art work created from the models for profit, or sell the models themselves for profit.

If that happens you deserve compensation in the form of commission or royalties. So have it in writing.

This is true--and may actually be the case for Rikke--but in many cases, its just a motion that a client goes through. Some of my clients dont even know what cinema 4d is, or even really understand what a 3d file is---but they are required to ask for the files. But I guess the trick is distinguishing which clients actually plan on trying to continue to profit from your work and which are just blindly following procedure.

moka.studio
10-24-2005, 07:45 AM
Another issue--one thats probably not related to Rikkes's situation, but I've experienced myself, is when you are working freelance for an animation studio (offsite OR onsite).

In cases where you are setting up (building models ) and animating scenes that will be integrated with other shots for a larger animation (or even if its a standalone animation) you will of course be expected to turn over source files. This is a precaution for the studio in case the client comes back a year later and needs a revision of some sort and you are unavailable to make the change. This would put the studio in a bad situation as well as they would be forced to recreate the animation most likely at cost to the studio. Of course you can negotiate up front NOT to supply files or supplying them at extra charge--but you probably wont work for them again. The client isnt always the evil monster.

working freelance for another Studio falls in another category though, and I would expect the contracts to also be formulated differently, expecially if you are not delivering a completed product ( ie from scratch to finish) but rather contributing to a bigger project. I would expect the studio then to want access to the files to make modifications down the road.

rikke
10-24-2005, 10:40 AM
Thanks for all the input people!

We're just in the fase of setting up a written contract. We've made a verbal agreement for an hourly rate and an estimated overall price. I'm sure my client will not agree to pay extra for the models, since it was made clear my pricing was at max.
As already mentioned, the problem is my client could make huge profit by selling my models to others, although I don't think he knows there is a big market for this. But that's just a matter of time.
This is a hell of a fun job to do, it pays good money and it will probably give me freelance work for the next 4-5 years. Seems like my only way out is to demand a clause in the contract that prohibits him from reselling my models to others. Don't know this is legal of possible.
OTOH, if I only give him the rendered images, is it ethical to sell my models to others? They could make almost identical images of it...

guess i'm gonna have to bend or break...

alanmac
10-24-2005, 10:49 AM
What did you agree to produce for your hourly rate - illustrations or models ?

If it's models then I think you'll find as he's contracted you to create the models then these models are theirs. If its illustrations, then how you created them, by model or 2D "traditional" methods is not of his concern.

Alan

Primitiv
10-24-2005, 03:12 PM
The way it was said before makes it clear he was contracted for illustrations and that the models are an after-thought from the client who probably figured he should have them since he paid already. Like I said before, this has to be done specifically under "Work for Hire" contract and it wasn't so the client is not entitled to any source file. This is a very specific law to protect intellectual property.

If you sell the models, you can make any clauses you want in the contract as to how the models should be used. You can also only give them a permission to use them without selling the models so that they have no legal ground to resell them.

NWoolridge
10-24-2005, 03:35 PM
Thanks for all the input people!

We're just in the fase of setting up a written contract. We've made a verbal agreement for an hourly rate and an estimated overall price. I'm sure my client will not agree to pay extra for the models, since it was made clear my pricing was at max.
As already mentioned, the problem is my client could make huge profit by selling my models to others, although I don't think he knows there is a big market for this. But that's just a matter of time.
This is a hell of a fun job to do, it pays good money and it will probably give me freelance work for the next 4-5 years. Seems like my only way out is to demand a clause in the contract that prohibits him from reselling my models to others. Don't know this is legal of possible.
OTOH, if I only give him the rendered images, is it ethical to sell my models to others? They could make almost identical images of it...

guess i'm gonna have to bend or break...

Just to clarify what some others have said, "work for hire" is only a concept in US copyright law; most other countries have a more "contractor-friendly" approach which does not enshrine "work for hire" in law. The short-story justification: work-for-hire gives benefits to a low-paying client that usually only accrue to an employer (ownership of work product); and under work-for-hire the artist gets all of the liabilities (loss of ownership) and none of the benefits of employment (health plan, pension, security).

Since you are in Belgium, work-for-hire probably doesn't apply, unless your client is in the US, in which case the situation is more complicated.

Since you are negotiating, the short answer is that you can negotiate anything, just be sure to cover your bases. You can license the images/aniumations or models to the client for very specific purposes over very specific time periods, and maintain ownership. Or, you can opt to give up your ownership rights, but you should only do this if you are appropriately compensated. The rights to use your rendered images, and the rights to use your models/textures/shaders, are two very different things, and should be considered separately.

It sounds like you need to do some client education. It is _NOT_ standard for freelance 3D artists to give up their models etc. It _IS_ ethical and permissible for 3D artists to reuse models they have created for one client on another client's project, as long as the resulting images/animations do not overtly resemble or tread on the rights licensed or sold to the original client. Ownership (transfer of copyright) for models requires hefty payment, since the models represent much greater inherent value than individual images or animations (given that they could form a productive part of the artists library of models and techniques for years to come). Giving up ownership of these items precludes your ever using them again, even for self-promotion, without the client's permission.

Its not worth screwing yourself with a bad contact, and setting the expectations for this client and others in the field so low.

Nick

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